Italy was indebted immediately at the inception of the modern reunited state: the Risorgimento was not for free. In the 1890's, the debt reached the level of 120 percent of GDP. After a period of relief, the Great War made a blow to government finance.
Mussolini had to cope with a mountain of debt when he came to power. He forced bondholders to convert their debt under conditions that, in fact, were equivalent to a selective default. A real default followed after the World War II.
It enabled the Italian economy to grow for several decades. I will not write in detail about the most recent events, but they don't mean anything favourable for the economy. Neither for the bondholders.